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Kusum Sahoo

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Kusum Sahoo's story

Kusum Sahoo

Kusum Sahoo

Kusum Sahoo is 70 years old and from the Cuttack leprosy community. She has worked for Lepra Society in for an impressive 25 years.

Kusum has faced significant challenges in her younger life including the death of her parents and brother. In her role as field worker, she is passionate about supporting the wellbeing of others in the Jeypore region, an area with 500 known leprosy cases and 70 lymphatic filariasis (LF) cases.

Engaging in community outreach, Kusum provides counselling to family members of people affected and the broader community, emphasising the importance of self-care practices. Her responsibilities include identifying and managing cases, focusing on individuals and contacts, and conducting school surveys to enhance awareness of leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF).

In addition, Kusum implements effective reaction case management strategies and facilitates physical exercise programmes tailored to individuals with disabilities. By fostering networks with government entities, she contributes to building the capacity of health workers and promoting collaboration for a more comprehensive approach to healthcare. Through these efforts, Kusum strives to create a supportive environment that encourages proactive health measures and fosters a heightened understanding of leprosy and LF within the community.

Kusum takes pride in the impact of her efforts on others and is profoundly grateful when people attribute their improved condition to her treatment and advice. Moreover, achieving community acceptance and adherence to her proposals and guidance brings her a sense of accomplishment. Having taught self-care practices to 1500 leprosy patients, facilitated disability certificates for 400 individuals, and conducted 10 successful hydrocele surgeries, Kusum finds fulfilment in contributing to people’s improved quality of life.

Kusum’s active liaison efforts with various stakeholders, through 2000 liaison meetings, reflect her commitment to fostering collaboration and support. Additionally, providing counselling and customised footwear to 4000 patients (both leprosy and LF) and undertaking the capacity-building of school students and 50 general health staff further exemplify her dedication to holistic healthcare.

 

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